by Jay del Corro
Loco Moco is a popular Hawaiian comfort food consisting of 4 quintessential elements:
- steamed rice
- a hamburger patty
- a rich brown gravy
- a fried egg
Served in a bowl or as part of a Hawaiian style plate lunch with macaroni salad, loco moco can tame the most serious hunger. So if you’re ready to take on this hearty Island soul food favourite, let’s get started.
You will need:
- 1 lb of really good quality ground beef or pork (or a 50/50 mix called ‘aibiki’ in Japanese)
- soy sauce
- worcestershire sauce
- karashi mustard (or prepared mustard/dijon)
- an egg
- salt & pepper
- ½ yellow onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- some panko breadcrumbs (or reg breadcrumbs)
for the gravy:
- a teaspoon of flour
- 500ml of water
- 2 tablespoons of red miso
- soy sauce
- karashi mustard
- salt and pepper
for the rice:
- furikake (optional)
- steamed rice
Start by heating a skillet on medium heat with a tablespoon of oil and gently saute ½ a diced onion and 2 cloves of minced garlic for about 8 minutes until translucent. When that’s done, set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, combine 1 lb of really good quality ground beef with a tablespoon of soy sauce, ½ a tablespoon of worcestershire, ½ teaspoon of karashi mustard (or prepared mustard), an egg and ¼ cup of panko breadcrumbs. Mix really well with your hands and continue to knead, scooping up the meat in your hand, then tossing it back into the bowl.
*This technique is a lot different then when you prepare Western style ground meat. When you knead the meat like this, you are transforming the texture of the meat into a smooth and uniform consistency.
When the meat’s texture is nice and smooth, form into patties making sure that the center is indented. This insures that the outer edges are done at the same time as the middle.
In a hot cast iron skillet, cook the patties for 3-4 minutes per side. A flat top is one of the best places to grill a burger since all that contact with the heat source will form a delicious brown crust. When the patties are done take them out and set aside.
Immediately sprinkle some flour to cover the reserved juices from the meat you just cooked and combine them over medium heat til you make a roux. To that, add 2 cups of cold water and whisk until the roux is fully incorporated. Next, add 2 tablespoons of red miso and continue to whisk. By now, your mixture is at a nice boil. Season your gravy with more mustard, soy, worcestershire and s&p to taste. When your gravy has thickened to the desired consistency, set aside.
Now take some freshly steamed rice and sprinkle on your favourite furikake. I love the kind with just nori and sesame seeds since it’s so versatile. If you want to season with some shichimi togarashi for a hint of spice, go for it. Use the rice paddle to cut the seasoning into the rice until combined then get ready to assemble.
To assemble, simple start with a scoop or two of rice, top with the beef patty, ladle on the gravy, then a nice sunny side up fried egg. Finish with more furikake on top then enjoy. There is something to be said when you cut into that egg yolk for the first time and watch it slowly cascade down the rest of the dish, but then again, maybe that moment is just beyond words.
Jay del Corro is the creator and host of the online cooking show, The Aimless Cook. His show is watched worldwide in over 150 countries on YouTube, Blip.tv, iTunes and Roku. His recipes are a mix of specialties from all over the world, brought to life in very easy to follow steps. Check out this amazing show at www.theaimlesscook.com